Get to know the stories behind 11 Scottsdale public artworks as you take your own guided tour with a new augmented reality app.
Through the mobile app Hoverlay, viewers can hold their phone up to a participating artwork and watch animated video of artists and dignitaries share the behind the scenes story of each piece.
The feature was first introduced during Scottsdale Public Art’s Canal Convergence in November.
“With these new AR features, people can find out more about the artworks than they would get from a simple plaque,” Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections for Scottsdale Public Art, said in a press release.
Raisanen is among the AR figures that appear near the artworks.
“It was fun to tell stories about the public art in front of the green screen, and then see my avatar talking on the screen of my phone,” she said.
Some of Scottsdale’s most prominent art pieces are included
Artists John Randall Nelson, Mary Bates Neubauer and Curtis Pittman each appear in AR to talk about their artworks. Mark Reynolds, the captain of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Hashknife Posse will talk about “Passing the Legacy” by Herb Mignery and the staff from the Cosanti Foundation will talk about “Soleri Bridge and Plaza” by Paolo Soleri.
The AR experience also features an animation of blooming cactus, time-lapse videos and fun facts.
The feature can be accessed at any time. All that is required is a mobile device and the Hoverlay app.
Adding AR to public art gives the community a chance to experience art outdoors. It’s also an opportunity for Scottsdale Public Art to continue a variation of the 3.25 mile Cycle the Arts event this year which was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
“In years past, Scottsdale Public Art and the city would team up to host Cycle the Arts on one day because we would arrange artists and staff to be present at each stop,” Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker, public art manager for Scottsdale Public Art said in a press release.
“This year, AR technology allows us to offer additional content to the stops at any time and in a safe, socially distant manner. Cycle the Arts’ content will now be available to anyone encountering these works — whether they are doing the tour on foot or even in their car — beyond Valley Bike Month and throughout the year.”
Take the bike tour, get a t-shirt
For this year’s curated bicycle tour and to find out how to claim a free Cycle the Arts T-shirt, visit ScottsdalePublicArt.org/cycle-the-arts-2021/.
The 11 artworks that currently feature AR experiences include:
- “Bronze Horse Fountain” by Bob Parks.
- “Diamond Bloom” by Curtis Pittman.
- “Horseshoe Falls” by Michael Maglich.
- “Knight Rise” by James Turrell.
- “LOVE” by Robert Indiana.
- “One-Eyed Jack” by John Randall Nelson.
- “Passing the Legacy” by Herb Mignery.
- “Soleri Bridge and Plaza” by Paolo Soleri
- “Spirt of Camelback” by Kana Tanaka
- “Traceries” by Mary Bates Neubauer.
- “Windows to the West” by Louise Nevelson.
Elizabeth Montgomery is Arts and Culture Reporter for The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com. Reach her at [email protected] or 602-444-8764. Follow her on Twitter @emontnews. Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.